There they were, cavorting for the camera. These three, unlike the Three Stooges of movie fame, brought a pastiche of government paternalism to the event at Babel’s newest train station. It was the inauguration—months late—of the Allandale Lakeshore GO station behind the historic Allandale train station. The front page picture of the January 31 Babel Backward said it all. For some of us, it said what was wrong with how politics works here in Babel.
All three of the participants got their start in politics at City Hall. They were councillors. One ran for mayor and won. One failed to get re-elected to council and ran provincially. And the third ran federally, leaving his ward voters in the lurch to become a Member of Parliament. The question is whether the experience as a city councillor equips anyone for a role in the federal or provincial parliament? Does infrastructure and pothole fixing prepare anyone for the far more complex human questions that need to be addressed in Ottawa or at Queen’s Park? It helps to explain why neither of the former members of council makes any worthwhile contribution in their jobs for their very substantial public pay and benefits.
In the picture, two of the fearsome threesome are pointing—supposedly in the direction that the GO engineer should go. A brief glance at the picture tells the knowledgeable that they are pointing in the wrong direction. That might not have been all that important as that train was only going to Bradford and back. It was a promotion for GO.
But why the restored, historic Allandale Station could not have been used as the new GO Station has not been adequately explained. And why riders could not keep warm in that old station on frigid February mornings while waiting for their train or GO bus is beyond us.
The shame in all of this is just how much has been spent on restoring our train station to nowhere, building a new GO station with its parking and tunnel and we still have no idea what the heck is to be done with the rest of the land in the area. And while our lovable three stooges will tell us that the millions involved came from three levels of government, there is only one level of taxpayer. That is us.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to [email protected]